Monday, April 30, 2012

Pro Lege Et Pro Grege

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 2:30, with an English rendering by George Wither. The poem is about the legend of the pelican, who supposedly nourishes its chicks with the blood of its own breast, symbolic of the offering made by Jesus on the cross, as you can see in the background of the emblem. You can read more about the legend at the Medieval Bestiary website.

Pro Lege Et Pro Grege
Dux, vitam, bonus, et pro lege, et pro grege ponit,
Haec veluti pullos sanguine spargit avis.

Our Pelican, by bleeding, thus
Fulfill'd the Law, and cured Vs.

Here is the vocabulary:

pro - for, on behalf of
lex - law
et - and
grex - flock
dux - leader
vita - life
bonus - good - both...and...
pono - place, put
hic - this, this one
veluti - like, just as
pullus - chick
sanguis - blood
spargo - sprinkle
avis - bird